This used to be so easy – 4-4-1-1 with VDV playing behind a lone striker and you could churn this stuff out every week. Under Andre Villas-Boas however, it’s a massive struggle even to call the formation, let alone the personnel.
That isn’t intended as a dig at AVB but the new head coach may have already used more formations than Harry did in four years and it makes any prediction so much harder. After using attacking options against Reading and in the second half at QPR, could we see a return to a more defensive 4-2-3-1 at Old Trafford?
That could be a logical move but if Jake Livermore is still injured, who can play alongside Sandro as the second holding midfielder? Will we switch to 4-5-1 and try not to complicate things too much.
Elsewhere, AVB will have to choose between Lloris and Friedel in goal and Defoe and possibly Adebayor (if fit) up front. It would probably be a surprise not to see Brad and JD but the questions then start in defence.
Vertonghen seems likely to cover BAE at left back but will Caulker or Dawson partner Gallas in the centre? Then, of course, comes the midfield.
An element of guesswork has therefore gone into this line-up but what’s your view?